This beef bone marrow noodle soup combines the traditional Filipino bulalo soup with Vietnamese noodle soup. Why? Because the greens I used are ones commonly used in pho dishes— cilantro, mint and lemon basil. For an even more piquant flavor, I threw in a few slices of lime. Can you already imagine the flavors inside your head?
Beef bone marrow, or bulalo, is a classic Filipino dish. It is a testament to the frugal ways of Filipino cooks for whom no part of an animal should go to waste. It is especially popular in the Southern Luzon provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Cavite. In Tagaytay City in Cavite, bulalo soup is available morning, noon and night time.
Noodle soups are an Asian staple. You will find noodle soups in every Asian cuisine. The fundamentals are the same — a good broth, noodles, vegetables, meat or seafood and garnish. Noodles vary from rice sticks to egg noodles to everything in between, vegetables include every imaginable variety and combination, garnish can be something as simple as toasted garlic bits or something as exotic as ground chicharon (pork cracklings), such as what we find in the Ilongo classic la paz batchoy.
- Place the bones in a pot. Boil for 10 minutes until the scum rises.
- Throw out the water, rinse the bones and the pot.
- Return the bones to the pot, refill with water, add the onion, garlic and peppercorns, season with fish sauce and simmer for at least two hours.
- To serve, place the bones at the center of a large bowl, surround with the noodles, top with the trimmed herbs and pour in the simmering broth.
- Garnish with slices of lime, squeeze half a lime over everything and serve at once.
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